This weekend I read a small article in a local Dutch IT-magazine that took me by surprise. I suppose I should have seen it before, but for some reason I did not. The article stated that ‘Oracle’s 10gR2 release of its database was to provide support for .Net through a Visual Studio Plugin – that allows .Net developers to easier build application on top of an Oracle Database – AND through Stored Procedures written in Visual Basic .Net, C# or Visual C++. Interestingly enough, this means that Oracle provides that support sooner than Microsoft itself – since Yukon is still on its way.
I found some backing for this story from the ‘Automatiserings Gids’ on the internet: Oracle 10g, IBM DB2 Both Leapfrog Yukon to .NET (January 15,2005) Some quotes from that article:
Perhaps the most surprising feature of the Oracle Database 10g Release 2, which went into beta late last month, is its support for the .NET Framework and associated common language runtime (CLR).
Presuming that the beta means the actual release will follow in mid-2005 as promised by Oracle, this means both IBM with DB2 and Oracle will leapfrog Microsoft’s SQL Server, providing CLR support in an RDBMS before Microsoft. Native .NET support has been promised in the Yukon release of SQL Server for years, but since then the product has slipped far past its original if ambiguous release date. There is no official, announced release date for Microsoft SQL Server, but the second half of the year has been mentioned and the Yukon release is now officially known as Microsoft SQL Server 2005. This would sync up the release with Visual Studio 2005, aka Whidbey, as the two are joined at the hip. There has been a modest amount of finger pointing over the slippage between Whidbey delays and Yukon performance problems, because the two tools are co-dependents.
That 10gR2 would support .NET at all is a comment on how dramatically the market has changed. The two platforms for virtually all new enterprise-level development are J2EE and .NET, and customers are demanding at least some pretense of interoperability. Oracle’s announcement of 10gR2’s support for .NET at its Oracle OpenWorld conference in San Francisco last December was overlooked in the press, hidden behind less significant but glitzier coverage such as co-founder Larry Ellison’s dissing of John York, president of the San Francisco 49ers football team. But .NET support might be the most significant of a long list of new features in 10gR2, many emphasizing tighter integration with Windows Server and Active Directory.
More details on new 10gR2 features are for example in this presentation: Oracle Database 10g – The Next Release, by Mark Townsend at Oracle Open World 2004.
Some of the features that stand out: Decision Trees in Data Mining, Improved Sorting (10 times faster) and Aggregation (3 times faster), Improved MODEL clause, DML Error Logging (statement may succeed even if some rows fail), much improved HTML DB, Project Columbus – a light weight, browser based TOAD with graphical query construction, data viewing, object browsing and procedure editing -, Client Notification on Table Update, improved Job Scheduler, PL/SQL Compilation Versioning (?), JDBC 3.0 support and many more.